The new Perry spot, “Jobs,” which I viewed on the campaign Web site, seemed to be a notch or two below the quality I have come to expect of the Perry operation. The visual effects are boring boring boring. Perry is walking through what appears to be a high-tech laboratory. He begins by praising the Texas job climate. But in the third sentence, he shifts gears and starts talking about cutting taxes and controlling spending. The scene shifts to Perry shaking hands with workers in hard hats. Unlike the typical Perry ad, this one lacks interesting imagery, and the scenes linger too long. The only arresting moment is when a woman in a hard hat, with Perry’s arm around her, displays a sign that reads, “THANKS, You Saved Our Jobs.”

This is the text, with Perry speaking, sometimes on camera, sometimes off:
“The Texas job climate has been ranked the best in the nation. We’ve created six hundred thousand new jobs in three years. I’m proud of Texas, because we’re investing in jobs, cutting taxes, and controlling spending. More Texans are working today than every before. We can do more to protect taxpayers. Let’s cap government growth and give voters the right to stop runaway spending. Texans deserve good jobs, fiscal responsibility, and unlimited opportunity.”

The ad contains violates the “one-subject rule” for 30-second spots. It sends mixed messages: good jobs and fiscal conservatism. Yes, yes, I know. Milton Friedman wouldn’t agree that these are mixed messages. But TV spots are designed for ordinary voters, not famous economists.

Something else about the spot struck me as odd. It’s not slick. It looks low-budget. I wonder if Perry’s previous ads were regarded by focus groups as too slick. Even Perry’s hair looks different, sort of tamped down. I’m surprised. This is below standard for the Perry campaign.